Ugh the groaning! “I can’t make it to the staff meeting……. I’m looking after my second cousins neighbours pet….. turtle.”
Not many people get super excited about a staff meeting. Its time in their lives you can never give back. You my friend, need to sell that staff meeting to your team like it’s a freshly baked muffin!
Why? Because staff meetings can work wonders for your team. They can break down barriers, open communication, eradicate misconceptions and inspire enthusiasm. They can be AWESOME!
1. Label it. Don’t just call it a staff meeting, get creative. Give it some depth, some character. Remember this is the first part of your sales pitch. It sets the tone for your meeting. You could even go all out and theme your session in line with your fancy new title. This doesn’t have to be a budget breaker. Get creative and use the resources you have at hand to add a bit of fun.
2. How long? Tell your team how long it will take when notifying them of the date eg. Team planning session Friday 30th November 6:15pm – 8pm. Try not to go over your finish time so make sure you’re not cramming too much in.
3. Feed me!! If your meeting is planned in a time that people would normally be eating or if you think snacks would help then do it. Again, put this info in your notice. If you don’t have it in the budget to buy food each time just ask everyone to ‘Bring a plate.’ Or, let them know they are welcome to BYO Lunch. Remember, if you’re providing any kind of food, it’s important to cater to all so be mindful of allergies and preferences. Meat and cheese platters for Vegans won’t help your cause.
4. Talk to me. Invite input by sending out an email and put a notice up in your staff room to allow for possible anonymous suggestions. This way you can put them into your agenda prior to your session and it will also help to prevent any left field topics from taking over.
5. The plan. Have a clear and visible agenda for the night and allocate a time slot for each item that you need to cover. For example the new policy gets 20 mins. This allows time to read through, discuss and ask questions. Always leave time at the end in case you go over somewhere. And remember your team will think you’re awesome if they get a 5 minute early mark no matter how good your meeting was.
6. Seating = Super important! Make sure there are enough seats. Also, a long rectangular table is not always conducive to everyone participating if you’re hoping for conversations. (Circles are perfect, no one can hide) Aim to create a space where you can all see each other so move the furniture around. If you don’t need tables then use the lounge, the floor, even the playground. It may not look pretty, but you’re not conducting a class in design school so it doesn’t matter
7. Participation is the key. Make sure whatever your agenda you make it open and encouraging for participation. Involve others as much as possible. If you have a few things to read allocate or ask others prior to the meeting to read. Make it interactive and if you have a whiteboard or projector use it so that everyone can see notes or mind maps etc. Remember there are four types of learners and you need to cater to all to get the most out of this for everyone. If you have a large group consider breaking up into smaller groups and swapping around to give everyone a chance to speak.
8. Tell me what you thought? Ask for feedback. Ask individuals on the night, send an email, put slips in the staff room so they can be anonymous. Get as much feedback as you can then use that to fuel the fire and prepare for the next round. Don’t forget you get what you ask for so think about what information you want and the easiest way to get it.
Check out our Staff meetings Board on Pinterest for more ways to revamp your next staff meeting.